Lucie M. Thompson, who had a menagerie of animals confiscated from her when she lived at 7119 Warren Sharon Road, Brookfield, in November 2017, has lost a federal civil rights suit.
Thompson argued her due-process rights were violated in connection with the seizure of her dog, Korn. A federal judge disagreed.
Attempts to reach Thompson and her attorney were not successful.
The presence of two horses in what many passers-by thought was a too-small pen generated a social media outrage campaign and complaints to the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County.
A humane agent seized the horses on Nov. 17, 2017, and returned Nov. 20, 2017, and seized a pot-bellied pig, Korn and numerous ducks and chickens. Trumbull County Central Court Judge Thomas Campbell allowed seizure of the animals due to insufficient living area or water.
All animals were taken to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, except for Korn, who was kept by the league.
The league charged Thompson with animal cruelty and Campbell found her guilty at trial, sentencing her to 1 year probation and ordering that all of the animals be forfeited. Thompson appealed her conviction, but it was upheld by the 11th District Court of Appeals, Warren.
While the appeal was pending, she filed the federal civil rights case.
On July 6, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Boyko ruled in the league’s favor. She argued the league violated her due-process right by not holding a deprivation hearing after Korn was seized, an apparent violation of state law.
Thompson had notice through the first search warrant that the league was investigating the condition of “any animals” kept at her home, Boyko said. She received notice of the animal cruelty charge and participated in court hearings, he said. She was aware of the prosecution’s intent to seek forfeiture of the animals prior to sentencing, and did not object when the judge ordered it, Boyko said.
“Although Thompson did not have a separate deprivation hearing under (Ohio Revised Code section) 959.132, she had notice and had a meaningful opportunity to be heard,” Boyko said. “Thus, the Court finds there was no violation of Thompson’s constitutional right to due process.”